Neither team had anything to lose in this fixture, apart from pride that is. Castleford Tigers welcomed Wakefield Trinity to The Jungle it what would be another exciting derby between these two West Yorkshire sides.
Wakefield were the first to turn the screw as with the first play of night they tried a sly ship over the top just 10 metres from their own line. Peter Mata’utia snuffed out that chance and Castleford took full advantage.
The Tigers played on the front foot after a Liam Watts offload and Luke Gale chipped the ball over the Wakefield defensive line, which Greg Eden juggled, and caught on the bounce to score the first try of the night. Gale converted from the touchline for an early 6-0 lead for the home side.
Wakefield did manage to get the ball back from kick-off as a short restart was dropped by Jake Webster and Trinity had their turn to attack. However, Ryan Hampshire was caught on the last and the Tigers survived.
The tone of the game was set in the first five minutes, with free-slowing rugby and big hits making the game entertaining with Luke Gale the first to concede a high shot to give Wakefield another chance to press the Tigers defence. However, Castleford held out once more.
Wakefield were ill-disciplined in defence in the following set which allowed Castleford to charge up the pitch and take advantage of another Trinity mistake. This time it was just simple hand down the line which left the Tigers with an overlap, and Eden was again the beneficiary as he dived over in the corner. Gale was on target with the boot and it was a 12-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Wakefield lost Scott Grix just before the second try and it was reported he had suffered a broken jaw after a tackle with Shenton and he was out for the rest of the game.
Wakefield were still ill-disciplined in defence and this time it was Tyler Randall who lifted Jake Websters legs above the horizontal and placed the centre onto his head. The Wakefield hooker was then sin-binned by Gareth Hewer and the Tigers aimed to punish their rivals.
They did exactly that with a try, this time on the right hand edge as quick hands down the line and a miss pass from Mata’utia to Greg Minikin to score the third try of the night. Gale was successful from the tee to extend the Tigers lead.
Wakefield managed to shut the Tigers down in the next set and then won a penalty of their own as Paul McShane was deemed to be holding on too long in the tackle as Wakefield reset just 20 metres from the line.
Despite having possession and territory, Wakefield seemed at sixes and sevens without Grix and Randall by Kyle Wood was doing his best to direct Trinity as another attack fizzled out.
Wakefield’s injury woes continued as Jordan Crowther was the victim of any head clash and was taken off for a Head Injury Assessment. The forward did pass the assessment and rejoined the action shortly afterwards.
Trinity had manage to steady the flow and take a bit of control and were trying their hardest to keep Castleford inside their own half.
The Tigers showed why they in the top four this season though and reversed the pressure with one simple kick and Luke Gale drilled the ball to within a metre of the Wakefield line.
In the last ten minutes of the half, the game was very much in the balance but as the half ended Castleford crossed the line again after a looping pass from Jake Trueman landed in the hands of Minikin who dotted down. However, Gareth Hewer brought the play back for a forward pass from the half-back.
There was no more action in the second half and Wakefield brought the ball out of their half as the hooter sounded.
Half-Time: Castleford Tigers 18-0 Wakefield Trinity.
The second half kicked off in the same fashion as the first with both sides looking to play expansive rugby. However, this time it was Castleford who made the first mistake as Mata’utia was unable to deal with Ryan Hampshire’s kick and Trinity set up just ten metres out.
Wakefield then finally hit back as Pauli Pauli barged his way towards the Tigers line and Trinity spread the ball over to Bill Tupou’s wing and the centre turned winger walked in for a simple four pointer. Ryan Hampshire missed the conversion which left the gap at 14 points.
Castleford then managed to seize control of the game once more as Wakefield missed a kick to touch and then Gale managed to force a goal line drop out as Max Jowitt failed to control the ball in his in-goal area.
Castleford made the Wakefield team pay once more, this time it wasn’t a winger who crossed, it was prop forward Grant Millington who ran straight and hard at the Trinity line to ground the ball by the right hand up-right.
Luke Gale converted from in front of the posts as Castleford extended their lead.
However, the 20 point lead didn’t last long as Reece Lyne managed to dot the ball down in a somewhat unusual fashion as he was man-handled by Michael Shenton but the centre managed to arch his back and dot the ball down above his head for a well deserved try. Hampshire converted this time to make it 24-10 with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Castleford stepped up once again though, and Wakefield couldn’t handle their rivals as Peter Mata’utia broke from deep, offloaded to Gale, who passed the ball wide to Shenton. Eden stepped in as first receiver and just accelerated between Matty Ashurst and Jordan Crowther and exploded through the gap to score under the posts for his third hat-trick in seven games. Gale converted again to restore the 20 point gap.
Castleford were back in the ascendancy as they took control of the game and more penalties from Wakefield allowed the Tigers to take advantage of the tiring Wakefield defence and Gale and Shenton simply shifted the ball to their left and Greg Eden crossed for his fourth try of the night. Luke Gale made it six from six from the boot to make it 36-10 to the home side.
Gale, Trueman and McShane were directing the Tigers round the park with every play and heading int the final five minutes it was McShane who put his stamp on the game once more as he darted through from dummy-half and offload to Junior Moors who was the latest scorer for the Tigers. Gale added the extras again and Castleford pulled further away.
No more action came in the game as Tigers closed the game out professionally.
Full-Time: Castleford Tigers 42-10 Wakefield Trinity
Sky Man of the Match: Greg Eden – This was a guarantee from the public vote as the winger managed to record four tries in an absolute hammering of Wakefield. He was also key under the high ball when tested too in windy conditions.
My Man of the Match: Luke Gale – The England half-back was instrumental in attack and his kicking was what made the difference, especially out of hand as he was able to keep Wakefield pinned inside their own 20 metres.
Mata’utia, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Gale, Watts, McShane, Millington, Moors, McMeeken, Massey.
Subs: Roberts, Milner, Sene-Lefae, Clark.
Tries: Eden (4), Minikin, Moors, Millington
Goals: Gale (7/7)
Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Tupou, Hampshire, Wood, Huby, Randell, Arona, Batchelor, Ashurst, Crowther.
Subs: Horo, Annakin, Pauli, Jowitt.
Tries: Tupou, Lyne
Goals: Hampshire (1/2)
Featured Image: @WTrinityRL